Skip to main content

Full text of "To The Lighthouse"

See other formats


about trying in a hasty way to fasten hatches
and make things shipshape. She had met Paul
Rayley like that one day on the stairs. They had
laughed and laughed, like a couple of children,
all because Mr. Ramsay, finding an earwig in his
milk at breakfast had sent the whole thing flying
through the air on to the terrace outside. " An
earwig," Prue murmured, awestruck, "in his
milk." Other people might find centipedes.
But he had built round him such a fence of
sanctity, and occupied the space with such a
demeanour of majesty that an earwig in his milk
was a monster.

But it tired Mrs, Ramsay, it cowed her a little
—the plates whizzing and the doors slamming.
And there would fall between them sometimes
long rigid silences, when, in a state of mind which
annoyed Lily in her, half plaintive, half resentful,
she seemed unable to surmount the tempest
calmly, or to laugh as they laughed, but in her
weariness perhaps concealed something. She
brooded and sat silent. After a time he would
hang stealthily about the places where she was
—roaming under the window where she sat
writing letters or talking, for she would take care
to be busy when he passed, and evade him, and
pretend not to see him. Then he-would turn
smooth as silk, affable, urbane, and try to win her